A controversial late try from Albert Torrens brought the battling Giants their second Super League victory of the season at the end of a contest exciting enough to warm the coldest night. Wakefield had looked the more convincing side for most of the match, but finished up losers when Huddersfield were awarded a scrum as a Trinity hand knocked the ball down at the end of an attack.
Chris Thorman and Robbie Paul, a combination which had grown in influence as the game went on, moved the ball to Torrens, who kept up his record of scoring in every round of Super League since joining the club.
"We remained composed and played right down to the wire," said the Giants coach, Jon Sharp.
The match turned on the fluctuating fortunes of the gifted Wakefield forward, David Solomona. He was close to irresistible in the first half as he went over for two tries, set up another for Semi Tadulala, and tormented Huddersfield with his handling and kicking skills. "He's one of the best players in Super League and I'm one of his biggest fans," said Sharp. "He was magnificent tonight, but we came to terms with him in the second half." Solomona made a couple of mistakes after the interval and went to the sin-bin for holding down in the tackle.
That enabled Thorman, who had scored Huddersfield's try in the first half, to emerge as the game's major figure. His lovely kick set up the former Wakefield forward, Steve Snitch, for the try that put Wakefield under pressure, which is where they stayed for the 10 minutes of Solomona's absence. "We completed every set while they were down to 12 men, and we knew that would pay off in the end," said Sharp.
His opposite number, Tony Smith, argued that the better side had lost. They paid heavily for the lack of an established goal-kicker, missing four shots at goal, including one with which David March hit the post from directly in front - an effort that raised memories of Don Fox at Wembley almost 40 years ago.
Wakefield: White; Halpenny, Demetriou, Henderson, Tadulala; Jeffries, D March; Griffin, Betham, MacGillivray, Solomona, Field, Applegarth. Substitutes used: Korkidas, Elima, Wrench, Saxton.
Huddersfield: Reilly; Aspinwall, Evans, Torrens, Gardner; Thorman, Paul; Crabtree, Drew, Snitch, Nero, Jones, Wilde. Substitutes used: Jackson, P March, Smith, McDonald.
Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).Reuse content